A 31-year-old Clarks Hill man was charged this week with a misdemeanor battery charge after he allegedly beat up a Purdue student walking near the math building during the week of Thanksgiving.
Nicholas Glen Collins is in the Tippecanoe County Jail on another battery charge from Dec. 21 and petitions to revoke probation on battery cases from April and September 2020. Online court records show Collins was charged seven times in 2020, most A-misdemeanor battery charges.
According to a probable cause affidavit filed this week, a Purdue student was walking south on campus near the Mathematical Sciences Building on Nov. 24 when a man he did not know approached and asked him whether he had a cigarette. The student told Purdue police later that when he said he did not have a cigarette, he "was struck approximately 6-8 times in the face and pushed to the ground."
The man then ran away. Police said the student was able to describe the assailant's appearance and clothing.
PUPD Det. John Goetz wrote in a Dec. 3 report included in the probable cause affidavit that he was able to watch a CityBus surveillance video from outside University Hall, where a car Collins might have arrived in was allegedly parked. After the officer contacted someone with University Hall and described a woman seen entering the building, the woman ultimately told the detective that she was the woman and her son had been with her that day, having arrived in the same car seen on the video.
Later that day, on Dec. 1, Goetz wrote that he and two other officers went to the Clarks Hill address and saw a man matching the assailant's description and the person officers saw on video nailing shingles to the roof of a shed near the house. "It should be noted that the edges of Collins' mustache go down below his lips ... and form a distinct point," the officer wrote. Collins was allegedly also wearing the same boots.
Collins repeatedly told the officers he did not remember being on campus nor attacking the student, according to the probable cause affidavit.
Later the same day, detectives met with Collins' mother, who told the officers she was "upset but not surprised because Collins has problems with anger which stem from a struggle with mental health and drug use." She said he did not appear under the influence that day, and that he had been released from prison last spring.
Purdue police issued "persona non grata" paperwork to Collins, banning him from campus for five years.